To flourish is to grow.
Sustainability is not an option. We grow or we die. We embrace evolution as the only game in town. We increasingly learn to guide evolution—consciously, scientifically, ethically. We do not deny it or run from it.
Utopian visions frequently envision a “perfect society” as a static image (an eternal heaven on earth), yet the only ideal society is one that allows for its repeated transcendence. An ideal society supports the growth of individuals within it; and reciprocally, individuals who flourish contribute toward the evolution of society as a whole.
Evolutionary progress does not simply mean material progress. Our ideal of progress should be broadened to include the psychological, the humanistic, the ethical, and even the cosmic. Growth needs to be defined and pursued holistically.
We are part of the ecological whole, and hence, a flourishing earth means Gaia evolving (with humanity as part of it).
Humanity and Gaia are part of the cosmic whole—part of the cosmic evolutionary process. To flourish means to extend beyond, in mind and body, and reach out into the cosmos, participating in the ongoing act of cosmic creation.
To flourish means to aspire toward cosmic consciousness, to embrace the unending mystery and infinite adventure.
To flourish means to transcend. And to transcend again.
Tom Lombardo is the author of “Wisdom, Enlightenment, Science, and the Future,” a chapter in Science, Wisdom, and the Future: Humanities Quest for a Flourishing Earth, a Collins Foundation Press book (published soon). He is also the author of The Evolution of Future Consciousness (and Contemporary Futurist Thought and has just published two new books Wisdom, Consciousness, and the Future and Mind Flight: A Journey into the Future.
Tom Lombardo is the Co-Director, along with his wife Jeanne Belisle Lombardo, of the Center for Future Consciousness an educational institute designed to help individuals and organizations increase their understanding of the future and constructively approach its challenges and possibilities.
Original cover artwork for Tom’s books, shown above, was created by Ora Tamir (http://www.orasart.com)